The Research for CBD Oil for PainThere has been a steady increase in the interest and research of the medical marijuana field as of late, but it is by no means a new discovery. According to Carl Sagan, a popular and credible scientist, the cannabis plant may have been the world’s first agriculture crop dating back roughly 12,000 years ago. Fast forward to 1850 and Cannabis was added to the list of The U.S. Pharmacopeia. The U.S. Pharmacopeia describes its role as demonstrating “identity, strength, purity, and quality for medicines, dietary supplements, and food ingredients.” As you can tell, cannabis was associated as a medicine over 150 years ago. However, this was a time where the research was centered on the entire plant rather than the individual compounds it consists of. Approximately another 150 years later, the British government contracted a pharmaceutical company to grow cannabis and monitor it closely for the ability to harness consistent extracts of specific compounds for clinical trials. This was in 1998. That same year GW Pharmaceutical’s co-founder, Geoffrey Guy, presented his findings toward the development of cannabis-based medicine that did not produce any psychoactive effects at an International Cannabinoid Research Society meeting. All of his research pointed to the healing power of one compound, cannabidiol, which is commonly known as CBD. However, he wasn’t the first to discover CBD’s ability. In fact, it is reported that even Queen Victoria of the 19th century used CBD-rich cannabis as a remedy for menstrual cramps! However, these CBD-rich strains have been weeded out (no pun intended!) during the upswing of recreational marijuana use. The majority of users were indeed looking for the psychoactive effects that other compounds of cannabis offered, such as THC. So unfortunately, cannabis began to gain a reputation of something only able to get you “high,” versus the healing abilities of CBD that many have been, and still are, studying.

So what exactly is CBD?

Let’s back track. CBD is one of the most abundant chemicals, or cannabinoids, in the cannabis plant. And as mentioned before, this compound does not contribute to any psychoactive effects and does not affect the status of any toxicity screenings. In other words, CBD is solely therapeutic and will not and cannot alter your perception in any way that is often associated with recreational marijuana use or jeopardize your ability to pass a drug test. Extracted CBD has a plethora of medical properties including, but not limited to, anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, antidepressant, and antioxidant. However, because of marijuana’s reputation, some may doubt these claims. Keep in mind that CBD does not even act on the same neural pathways as, THC, the psychoactive component does. How does it work then? I’m glad you asked!

We all actually have naturally occurring cannabinoids in our bodies called endocannabinoids creating our endocannabinoid system (ECS). The most understood roles of this body system include neuroprotection, recovery for stress, healthy immune response, and regulation of homeostasis. The cannabinoids that make up the ECS can be found throughout our bodies and regulate an array of functions such as: sleep, appetite, mood, pain, memory, temperature, fertility, motor control, and more. Sure enough, these receptors of the endocannabinoid system receive information from other cannabinoids, such as CBD. In short, this means when CBD is introduced to the body, the compounds enter the bloodstream and eventually the brain and will find the receptors it can influence. Once there is a perfect fit, it has the ability to affect the brain’s activity. Note that CBD does not directly fit or influence the two classic cannabinoid receptors responsible for marijuana’s mind-altering effects, CB1 and CB2, rendering it impossible for CBD to contribute to feeling "high." Instead, CBD’s mechanism is to increase the amount of naturally occurring endocannabinoids in the body. It has always been questioned how CBD can treat a vast variety of what seems to be unrelated conditions, but with continual emerging research, we now understand all of these conditions are related to the body system that CBD directly affects, the endocannabinoid system.

Alright, alright. So what’s its super power then?

The potential therapeutic applications for CBD are plentiful, as well as the research behind them. Between clinical trials in humans, animal studies, and in vitro experimentations, we can draw clearer conclusions on where CBD can fit into our medicine cabinets. According to the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, CBD acts as an “anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, anti-oxidant, anti-emetic, anxiolytic and antipsychotic agent, and is therefore a potential medicine for the treatment of neuroinflammation, epilepsy, oxidative injury, vomiting and nausea, anxiety and schizophrenia, respectively.” Individual studies have been conducted in patients with chronic illnesses such as fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. All of these resulted in a unifying conclusion of minimized pain and relief from symptoms.

The legality of CBD has been blurry due to several different details, such as the percentage of CBD in the products, whether there are any other ingredients, and the means of purchasing. However, the government’s involvement has shifted to making it easier to produce and manufacture these medicinal products. It is up to the manufacture to ensure they are carrying out the proper steps, testing, and procedures to carry out a safe, legal practice. But overall this is a huge step in the right direction for harnessing and sharing the powerful healing abilities of cannabidiol!


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